The 80286 was released in early 1982. The IBM PC AT, which used it, was released in late 1984.

Two and a half years is a long time to design a new computer that is a fairly modest upgrade on existing technology, and a long time for new technology as commercially important as the 286 to go unused. I'm conjecturing that IBM felt they could take it easy because their PC already had technical superiority over the competition, but according to InfoWorld, in August 1982 there were already an estimated 60-70 companies with or working on PC clones; surely at least some of them must have felt the pressure.

Was there any computer, particularly but not limited to any PC clone, based on the 286 before the AT?

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    Just gonna chime in that 2 1/2 years isn't a lot of time to engineer a brand new product. It's not a casual upgrade to the PC. New motherboard, new processors, 3 times faster, new bus, new BIOS, new case, new keyboard, new floppy drive, etc. And this is back in the day when folks were still designing stuff with stone knives and bear skins, all of which affect time to market. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 20:29
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    I would assume had they not targetted for a modest upgrade of an existing computer but rather an entirely new one without any compatibility, development could have been much faster.
    – tofro
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 21:20
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    @WillHartung Even back then a new computer could be done in a matter of several month, not years. Don't underestimate our 'forefathers' craftmanship. Woz designed the Apple II in under a year with way less resources than Intel or IBM had.
    – Raffzahn
    Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 22:38
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    @Raffzahn And now you've highlighted the difference between a globe spanning, bazillion dollar corporation and a guy in a garage. Commented Apr 19, 2018 at 23:29
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    @rackandboneman Excluding. 'The competition' means personal computers in roughly the same price bracket e.g. the Apple II and Commodore PET, not workstations costing many times as much.
    – rwallace
    Commented Apr 26, 2018 at 17:25

1 Answer 1


Well, one of the first will be for sure Intels System 310/286. According to the CHM this would be 1981, but I think it was rather 1982/83 - that would also fit the original flyer. It's a Multibus system using the iSBC 286/10 single board computer running Xenix. The board was also used by several other manufacturers for early 286 based Unix sytems and real time applications - way until the 1990s - Intel even added a revised iSBC 286/10A in 1985 to satisfy demand. Here a nice report about someone reviving a 310. When searching the net for more information, be aware that the system 310 was also/originaly available with a 8086 board.

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